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Second Chance at Sunflower Ranch–fathering a teenager

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Second Chance at Sunflower Ranch

by Carolyn Brown

Jesse Ryan returns to Honey Grove, Texas, after twenty years of touring the world following his dreams as a medic in the Air Force. His father’s MS diagnosis hastens his homecoming as his father Sonny now clearly needs help in running the Sunflower Ranch, especially since his father’s longtime friend and foreman is retiring.

Jesse grew up on the ranch after he and two other foster children were adopted by Sonny and Pearl, so he has no trouble with the cowboy aspects of his new life. What he didn’t expect was to be working closely with Addy, his best friend from childhood who stopped communicating with him shortly after he left for his first tour of duty. Addy and her nineteen year old daughter Mia are living and working at the ranch as Addy, a nurse, manages Sonny’s healthcare. Jesse finally does the math and figures out his relationship with Mia while he and Addy are determining what their own adult relationship will be.

Addy is a strong, smart woman. Mia goes through a rebellious period. Jesse takes on responsibilities wherever he is needed. Sonny and Pearl face the MS diagnosis with the love that has held them together through the years. This is a character driven plot that moves quickly with some surprises along the way. There are some gossipy women, a mean local family, and a jealous, confused doctor who complicate the plot, but the Ryan family is one you would want to know, maybe even be a part of. The author of Second Chance at Sunflower Ranch introduces Cody Ryan, a doctor, and Stevie O’Dell, a veterinarian, at the end of this book; they will be the focus of Texas Homecoming, the next book in the series.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Notes: 1. #1 in The Ryan Family Series. I started reading this series with the second book in the series which could be read as a standalone, but reading Second Chance at Sunflower Ranch actually enhanced my enjoyment of Texas Homecoming (read review here) after the fact. My recommendation: read this series in order.
2. Clean romance, but does use “d—n” frequently as a slang expression.
3. At this point in the series, the theme of the series is “second chance” romance, but there are many other common themes as well regarding family relationships, work ethics, values, etc.

Publication: 2021—Forever

Memorable Lines:

“If I’m honest, I’ve always loved him for more than a friend. That’s probably why I can’t seem to last in a relationship with anyone else. I can’t give them my heart when he’s got it in his pocket.”

…her mouth was set in a firm line. Her light brown ponytail swung back and forth like a frayed flag in a hard Texas wind, and her hands were knotted into fists.

“Change is good for folks. It keeps us on our toes so we don’t get to taking life for granted…”


  1. WendyW says:

    I also enjoyed this book, and I thought the second book in the series, Texas Homecoming was even better. Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gretchen says:

    I like the idea of a story taking place at a sunflower farm. Sounds like a good read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      It’s not actually a sunflower farm; it is a ranch. Sunflowers, however, do play a role in the naming of the ranch and in a legacy passed through the female line which I think is very special.


  3. This sounds sweet, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a sunflower ranch!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      Not really. It is a regular cowboying kind of ranch, but there is a tradition of sunflower seeds being collected each year from sunflowers planted at the house and then replanted the next year so the line continues from one generation to another.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carla says:

    I love Carolyn Brown books and need to read both of these. All the reviews I have read are so positive. Great review Linda. Once again, great quotes selected.

    Liked by 1 person

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